Butt of the Joke: the Meaning of “Butt of the Joke” with Helpful Examples

The idiomatic phrase “butt of the joke” is one that you may hear or see frequently during everyday conversation and in writing. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and the information regarding its origin. You will also find some examples of how to use the phrase properly in conversations/statements and discover some alternative ways to say this phrase that still convey the same meaning.

Butt Of The Joke

Butt Of The Joke Meaning

If you are said to be the “butt of a joke” it means that you are the person the joke is about. You are the target of the joke’s mocking and ridicule.

Origin of this idiom

The origin of the phrase “butt of the joke” seems to stem back to at least the 13th century. During this time, the Old French word “but” was used to mean to aim or target something specifically with an arrow. In the mid 14th century, the same term was used to describe a support for an archery target. The phrase as we know it today was derived from this meaning of the word “but” with an added t and was meant to imply that someone was the target of the joke.

“Butt Of The Joke” Examples

Example Statements

A statement made by a student in the school newspaper in an article about bullying.

  • “You need to stop making weaker people the butt of the joke you tell. It might make you feel better, but it makes them feel awful.”

A statement made by a celebrity in an entertainment magazine.

  • “The roast they did for me was great. I was happy that night to be the butt of the joke.”

Example Conversations

A conversation between two friends having coffee and discussing another friend.

  • Friend 1: Angela was getting on my nerves yesterday.
  • Friend 2: Yeah, mine too. That’s why I left early.
  • Friend 1: I am just so tired of being the butt of the joke for her. It’s annoying after a while.

A conversation between two co-workers at the office.

  • Co-worker 1: What is wrong Bill?
  • Co-worker 2: I am tired of Candace picking on me all the time. It’s like she has some kind of vendetta against me or just wants to do her best to piss me off every day.
  • Co-worker 1: Woah! Candace? She is the nicest person I know here at the office and incredibly funny. What on earth are you talking about?
  • Co-worker 2: She is funny, but when you are the butt of the joke all the time it is frustrating. I just wish she would move on to someone else already!

Other Ways to Say “Butt Of The Joke”

Like all idiomatic phrases, there are several alternative ways you can say “butt of the joke” and still convey the same meaning. Some of these alternatives include:

  • The subject of the joke
  • The target of the joke
  • The subject/target of his/her ridicule

Butt Of The Joke | Image

Butt Of The Joke